Like many 1960's era motels the Happy Days Motel has seen happier days, as have many of its guests. Of course, those guests are more likely to be locals renting by the week rather than tourists. One who I spoke to has been living at the Happy Days since being evicted... with three days notice... from the affordable apartment that he'd lived in for years after the building fell into foreclosure. He told me that the rental market is so tight that most landlords won't return his calls, and the ones who do won't take him because he has a dog (a Chihuahua). For now he pays $250 per week for his room at the Happy Days and $250 per month to store his furniture. (That's $1,860 per month in Canadian dollarettes). Thankfully Ontario's tenants enjoy greater security of tenancy, but even here low-income tenants often pay more for rental accommodations than their well-heeled neighbours. Happy days indeed...
Keith Beaty is the owner and manager of Grace's Places, and a Toronto-based photojournalist.
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